Ivanovic: Juventus clash is like a final for Chelsea

The experienced defender is aware of the importance of the current European Champions getting a positive result in Turin as they look to reach the knockout stages
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic believes their Champions League match away to Juventus will be "like a final" as they eye a place in the next round.

A win away to the Serie A champions would secure the Blues' passage into the knockout stages of the competition that they won last year, while a point would also put them in the driving seat to progress.

However, a defeat would leave them in a precarious position and in danger of finishing behind Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk, who they narrowly beat in the previous round of games, and Ivanovic is aware of the importance of the tie.

14/1 Chelsea are 14/1 with Bet365 to beat Juventus 2-1
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “Tuesday is a crucial game for our season. We have already had a couple of games like this this year, but this one is like a final for us. It can decide a lot, but if we do what we know it is going to be fine.

“We know we cannot lose, of course. But the mentality of the team is not like this. We have to follow our philosophy of attacking and trying to win the game, because we are Chelsea and we have a way of playing.

“We want to win every game and qualify as soon as possible, and we have to be true to our philosophy.”

The 28-year-old was an unused substitute in the Blues’ 2-1 loss to West Brom on Saturday, and admitted he has been impressed by the performances of his replacement, Cesar Azpilicueta’s recent displays.

He added: “Cesar is great. He takes up good positions and it's important we have players like this who can play games, because we have a lot in the season. I hope he will use every chance he has to play.”

Chelsea head into the match against Juventus having lost two and drawn two of their previous four Premier League fixtures.